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The Odyssey Educational Program

The Odyssey Educational Program has three foci:

First, we seek to bring to life all that teachers are covering in their classes with regards to the countriesd we will visit and global studies, most notably World History and Foreign Language classes. For this reason the team's itinerary in each site and between the sites are rigorously designed to tie in with National Educational Standards and commonly adopted text books.

Second, we seek to bring critical global issues into the classroom. These are issues that everyone must think about for the well-being of everybody everywhere. They are each guided by several essential questions:

The 10 Central Odyssey Educational Themes

  1. The Internet and Society
    • How have past advances in technology influenced communications?
    • How do people use the Internet?
    • How can the Internet be used as a tool for education and social change?

  2. Community
    • What is community?
    • Why do individuals participate in communities?
    • How does my community affect my life?
    • What do I owe to my community?

  3. Indigenous People
    • Who are indigenous people?
    • How has Western European expansion impacted indigenous communities?
    • What are some of the relationships the Western world has with indigenous communities today?
    • What is indigenism/indigenismo?

  4. Wealth and Poverty
    • Who is rich and who is poor?
    • How does wealth get divided?
    • What are the underlying causes of poverty?
    • What are the effects of an unequal distribution of wealth on a community?

  5. The Environment and Development
    • What do we mean by the environment?
    • What is development? Who benefits from development?
    • What forces lead people to abuse or degrade the environment?
    • What forms of development are environmentally sustainable?

  6. The Global Community
    • What is globalization?
    • Why is globalization occurring?
    • What impact does globalization have on communities around the world?
    • How do communities preserve their cultural identities?

  7. Nature of Conflict
    • What is conflict?
    • What are the major causes of conflict between communities?
    • What approaches do communities use to resolve conflict?

  8. Gender Roles and Representations
    • How do social roles of men and women vary in different cultures?
    • What gender issues have been raised around the world?
    • How are people of one culture likely to perceive gender roles in another culture?

  9. Youth and Society
    • What roles do youth play in communities throughout the world?
    • What rights and responsibilities should youth have?
    • How can young people create change in their communities?

  10. Social Change in Theory and Practice
    • How have human beings changed their societies throughout history?
    • What are some current social change movements?
    • How can people work to improve their communities today?
The skills and knowledge that students gain will be put into practice through service learning activities. This will sometimes mean joining a letter-writing campaign regarding a current Odyssey topic. It will sometimes mean working with local organizations partnered with The Odyssey. It will at other times mean working on projects that come from the students themselves in response to their own immediate concerns.

Please visit the Teachers Zone for more information on our educational program.

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